Faster Internet Speeds a COVID Side Effect
It is well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for home internet connections as many work or study from remote locations. But more traffic on the network has not resulted in slower speeds, according to a study by WhistleOut, a search engine that uses its technology to gather data on internet traffic. In fact, it has been just the opposite.
The study found that the average speed nationwide has increased nearly a full 10 Mbps from mid-March to early July 2020 to reach 94.6 Mbps. Forty-three of the 50 states saw average increases, while seven states and the District of Columbia saw speeds drop.
The greatest increases seemed to be in areas with significant rural populations including Wyoming, which saw its average speeds more than double, and Alaska, which experienced a 40 percent increase. Other large average gainers were Kentucky (37 percent faster), Kansas (36 percent faster) and Missouri (31 percent faster).
WhistleOut attributed the faster speeds to households that decided to order higher service tiers specifically to meet new COVID-related needs. They also cited initiatives led by state governments and local providers to encourage internet usage, including in Wyoming, Alaska and Kentucky.